This today at conservative David Frum’s website:
Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.
So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.
I disagree with Frum that health care reform represents a defeat for free markets. Indeed, I think that the bill was framed in such a way as to make free markets work better. And I’m not sure what values Republicans share collectively (except perhaps “Money talks”). But I think Frum is right on this: Republicans have dug a very, very deep hole for themselves, and Rush Limbaugh and Fox Noise are the Iagos to blame.